Poll - Where did you use to search for help? What's the first site you used to go to?

Well, there is a lot of discussion going on about this topic: https://elixirforum.com/t/7th-worst-language-to-learn-in-2019/21661/50

That made me think, how many people do we have even here on the forum that used to go directly to a specific site when searching for help, instead of using search engines.

IMPORTANT I mean before Elixir and this community, on your previous language.

  • Search engine (Google, DuckDuckGo, etc)
  • StackOverflow
  • Specific language forum (like this one)
  • Other

0 voters


In general I searched in Google/DDG, but in the end in most cases I still ended on SO. So this isn’t that obvious. But it was long time ago, nowadays I rarely seek help outside documentation, and if so it is often in form of quick IRC/Slack question or look-through the issue tracker.

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Yep, but that means that if the forum is indexed well on search engines, one should have no problem to get help on elixir the same way they got on the previous language.

Almost always Google for almost everything - most notable exception is if the site is behind a log-in or paywall (so not usually indexed by search engines).

If I’m on a site at that moment in time and I want a result from that site, depending on what I’m looking for and how good that site’s search is, I may try the site’s search first (so say on a Discourse forum I want a result from a specific section or from a specific poster I will use the forum’s search first - if I don’t get what I find I will google with site:forum_name query).

But yeah, no other search engine comes close to Google imo let alone search of a specific site - so for me it would be making more work for myself not just simply using Google.

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I’ve had times when DuckDuckGo hasn’t shown me useful results but a search here has answered my question. I’m not sure why, if the forum is indexed, I don’t get the results. :confused:

Interesting, AstonJ are any bots blocked?

Well, as for me, I had the same sometime ago, what made me change from searching Elixir related stuff on DDG to search directly here, so I don’t know the state now, maybe it’s worth investigating.

Me too, one very good tip that really helps when nothing helped is to actually check the code of the lib, it’s most of the times very easy to understand the code and as a bonus you get some ideas of how to implement some stuff.

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This is almost must-have when you are working with Nix, so for me it is so natural that I forgot about it in general.

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Nope :slight_smile:

It’s returning results here…



I probably do this the most. And very often in this year I’ve reached for language-specific forums I already know about.

I may be behind the times – or simply not bothered to sit in messengers – but to me asking in Slack or Discord is not very appealing. Although I keep hearing from people that the communities there are very helpful.


Interesting, I’ve just tried a fairly general search again via DDG and it did show some results from the forum fairly high on the list. Maybe my search luck is just poor.


Search engines change their algorithms several times a year so it’s possible that at times some of them favour certain types of sites and other times not so much.

I’m not sure if it’s still the case, but we used to refer to it as the Google dance :lol:

Nowadays it’s generally more stable, although sometimes you do get some sites showing up unusually frequently (which makes you wonder whether they are paying for the privilege or the SE staff make decisions overriding their standard algorithms).


Google (search engine) is the first portal

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